Click Here for Reduced Juice wagering only at 5 Dimes Sportsbook
The Monster versus the Model
Nicolay Valuev tangles with David Haye
J. J. Lehmann
The ‘monster’ stands 7 feet tall (yes - 7 feet) the ‘model’ 6’3. Nicolay Valuev AKA the monster sports a gaudy record of 5o victories and 1 loss. The names of his opponents are hardly household…Taras Bidenko, George Linberger, Dicky Ryan and Otis Tisdale who I’m sure played professional basketball. Wait, that’s another Tisdale. To be fair he has fought some names if the term is used somewhat lightly, John Ruiz (two times) Russian Chagaev (who won a split decision) Monte Barrett, and Jameel McCline. In his last fight he took on his biggest name yet, 46 year old Evander Holyfield. To say that Valuev was awarded the decision is like saying he deserved it. The past his prime two times Holyfield boxed circles around the giant, easily out jabbing and out punching him. No matter, Valuev retained his WBA Heavyweight Championship with a split decision.
The ‘model’ David Haye has a record of 22 wins and 1 loss. His loss came in 2004 when, ahead on points he ran out of gas and was stopped by Carl Thompson. And there’s the crux of one of Haye’s apparent flaws, stamina. Though he looks to be in better shape then most everyone he fights the ‘looks’ can be a mirage. He seems to tire around the middle of the fight and his second potential flaw his…chin comes into play. Haye has not exactly fought a who’s who of heavyweights either but we must not forget that he moved up from the cruiserweight division in 2007. As a cruiserweight he did TKO Jean Marc Mormeck in seven, and four months later he demolished Enzo Maccarinelli in one. His first heavyweight tussle was with Thomasz Bonin who he also stopped in the first round. In his last fight he took on old warhorse Monte Barett who’s been in plenty of wars but most often loses the battle. Haye struggled mightily with Barett at times (as did Valuev when they fought) but eventually stopped him in round five.
Valuev has obvious advantages in size, strength (but not power) reach and a sturdy chin. He also has the double the fights of Haye and has been in more championship fights. Haye has youth on his side (Valuev is 36 years old) athleticism and speed.
Though Valuev is bigger then Haye in most of the conventional ways it’s Haye who sports the bigger mouth calling Valuev "the ugliest thing I have ever seen”. One week later he was at it again “"All you've got to do is look at a picture of the guy and that speaks volumes. I consider him more of a circus show freak that happens to be boxing".
It sounds like Haye is trying to get under the giant’s skin and it might be working. Valuev was reportedly not happy when Haye decapitated a cardboard cut out of him in a cheesy publicity stunt.
As for the fight I see it starting slowly as Haye comes out moving and jabbing. Valuev will counter with own long stiff jab, causing Haye some problems and throwing off his timing. Remember that Valuev is a good nine inches taller then Haye. David will be throwing punches up, which takes away the power and is awkward to boot. Nikolay will lumber after Haye trying find him to throw his uppercut. Haye will continue to pepper and outspeed Valuev keeping him moving. This is another key, as keeping a 315 pound man moving could potentially tire him out earlier then usual. Will Haye open up and start firing some big shots?
That’s definitely possible if he feels he needs to impress and knock the big
man out. Doing this will also expose his chin which in turn gives Valuev a much
better chance of landing something telling, and maybe knocking Haye out. I don’t
see that scenario happening, I see Haye moving and punching and dictating the
pace. I see him working the body since it’s impossible to miss and then
protecting his chin. Valuev will try like he always does; moving forward and
throwing some punches but in the end I believe David Haye wins a clear cut
unanimous decision and becomes the new WBA heavyweight champion.
© J.J. Lehmann